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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 16, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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and bestselling author of a number of books. just a few months ago, the doctor came to the united states to deliver the address entitled beyond the hungry ghosts in politics, how self awareness within support progress without. it was a fund-raiser for kpffa in berkeley. >> we live in difficult times. we face somebody from the raiders station on sunday, and they pointed out, we live in a time in the united states and in canada where the alternatives are not too attractive, where
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the out right right wing denies global warming climate change, which puts our -- power into the hands even more of the powerful, depriving those that do not have the little they have, wishes to deny reality in a number of ways, and where, at least from my perspective on the other side, you have better sounding and sometimes sincere rhetoric. when it comes to action, it does not seem to make a whole lot of difference. there is certainly a climate, at least amongst my generation, as far as i can gather, that which came in to political consciousness in the 1960's, a sense of disillusionment, lost opportunities, a certain degree
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of despair even, and particularly, when it comes to the issue of climate change, a sense of a clock that is ticking that may not have too many minutes left on the clock face, and when it strikes 12, disaster looms if it has not already begun. whereas, in the 1960's, 1970's perhaps, people have a genuine sense of possibility, a sense of moving forward, social transformation of the possibility of justice and the quality and a society that cares, today, people that care about such things seem to be less optimistic that those goals are still achievable, or
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certainly, within reach within our lifetime. there has been a genuine change, i think. i was reading a book by a psychoanalyst, a very progressive writer, and his writings in 1950. he is speaking from fairly realistic perspective of somebody who wants social change and progress, a socialist in fact he says in 1950, half a century has passed and the main demands of the 19th century force have been fulfiled. speed of the most progressive country, the united states, the exploitation of the masses has disappeared to a degree which we
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would have found fantastic in marxist time. the working class, instead of falling behind in economic development of the whole society has an increasing share of the national wealth and it is a valid assumption that provided no major attackers 3 -- catastrophe occurs, there will be in one or two generations -- this is written by a fairly realistic and progressive thinker and psychologist writing in 1950. however, for those of us to think that the 1% is a recent discovery, a recent event, i read last year the biography by edmund morris of theodore roosevelt. result, of course, the american president made a lot of political capital out of attacking at least rhetorically and in practice serving what he called a criminal elite. this is in the 1900's, early
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20th century. this is a 1950. approximately 2000 individuals are in a position to control and direct industry. 27,000 giant firms constituting only 1% -- employ over 50% of the people engaged in business today. so while you can say that on the subject of level there has certainly been a downturn in optimism and a sense of momentum, on the actual level of political and economic control, it is not that change, it is just that things have fallen their natural involution to a higher degree. so what we have today is
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precisely what roosevelt willed about 100 years ago and what was noted in 1950. in fact, what marx predicted in the 19th century. so those of us that are prone to fall into despair over what is going on and who feel depressed about it, and we thing to explain our despair and depression by what is happening on the outside of us in the role of politics or economics or society would be well advised to ponder the question as to when in human history has ever been otherwise? when in human history has it not been the case that a small elite controls things come in and manipulates the ideological institutions, promoted spiritual or religious or social ideas that serve their interests, knew very well how to cram -- clad
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down on dissent sometimes with an iron fist, sometimes with a gloved hand. and on the whole, knew very well how to bend the study of history and what ever the scientific understanding of the time to its own interests and values. when has it been otherwise? those that say to me that the world is getting worse, i will submit that only in one case, which is that the issue of climate change certainly looms over us in a direct and palpable fashion and, really, there does seem to be, statistically speaking, a clock that is ticking. but in all other ways, to argue that the world is worse than it was, you cannot tell me that. when i was born, somebody wanted to throw me into an oven. that is how it was.
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that is where my grandparents and up. you cannot tell me that the worse -- world is worse than it was then. i do not say it is better but you cannot tell me personally that it is worse either. except with this over a looming issue of climate change. interestingly enough, in hungary, a month ago, a 97-year- old man was arrested and he was accused of having been the police captain in the southern so lucky in town where the dues were concentrated in a brick factory in 1944, from which the next day they were deported to auschwitz and killed, and he was the police captain now accused of having been brutal in his execution of the task of concentrating and shipping these people off to their deaths.
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amongst the group was my grandparents. for me, it was almost a disconnect. i cannot believe -- is not the vindictiveness or the anger that i have for him. it is just that this man was so instrumental in an event that shaped so much of my own and families and the history of so many other people should still be around somehow. the idea that the world is somehow getting worse, that had never resonated with me for that particular personal reason. what i can tell you, however, is that on some days i will wake up and i will see the world in a certain way. other days i was seated in a different way. since the world is the same every day, it is clear the differences do not have to deal with what is happening out there. it has to do with an internal process. my own political history has been one of serial
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disillusionment. [laughter] i grew up in communist hungary under the regime. he was called stalling's greatest hungarian people. the version of the stall an icon. an idealistic kidd, a completely bought into it, until the hon during revolution in 1956 when i was just about to turn 13. all the sudden i realized i was living in a brutal dictatorship. so you might call that disillusionment. then of course we emigrated to the west and i remember seeing the american soldiers, the g i's in germany, security under their
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protection from the russians who had been there. that was the americans. as you can imagine, there was that disillusionment, too, of america as a bastion of freedom and democracy. then in my late teens, i discovered in zionism. here was the answer. my people had been oppressed, annihilated, tormented throughout history, particularly in the recent past, here was the answer. a country for the jews where one could be free, one could be oneself, or one could express one's real identity without fear or derision and attacked, and so for a while that was my ideology. of course, i have to let that one go as well.
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in a few days there will be a talk here by the middle east children's alliance, the head of the middle eastern children's alliance is a wonderful person and she conducted a tour to the gaza and west bank some decades ago, maybe 23 years ago. by that time, i was not a zionist any more. i was a medical doctor. but i was still fairly close to my zionist past. i spent two weeks weeping when i had seen what had been done to the palestinians in the name of jewish liberation. and was a disillusionment. progressed, i60's became interested in radical politics, the vietnam war. that woke me up to the nature of
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this particular society. as they may have said in my previous berkeley talk, i realized everything the soviets had said about the american work through and everything that the american said about the soviets were truth and then everything that they said was a pack of lies. [applause] and then, of course, you have to choose sides. then i became a moralist. there was the russian-chinese split. the soviets had abandoned the idea of socialism and created a new class, a new class dictatorship, a brutal one at that, whereas the chinese were going to prevent that from happening, so in the name of that particular belief, i and my colleagues at the time it ignored what was in front of our
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eyes, which is all of the deprivations and brutality, the suffering of the people in china, and the unfairness, humiliation and sheer dishonesty and under which the picture was presented, and despite my own inclinations, of bought into the slogan that was current at the time, when feeling the seas, depend on the helmsman. in other words, put your faith in the great leader. give up the capacity to think for yourself. that never saw well with me. for the sake of believing in something, for a while, i swallowed it. at least i did not express my concerns about it. i was quite capable, in the name of progress and humanity and justice, to suppress my own insights and inclinations.
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why? because we all have some need for meaning, we all need some sense of some way out of our basic sense of isolation, in despair of the world, so we tend to attach ourselves to ideologies or events or concerns or ways of looking at things outside of ourselves. how can we do that at the cost of giving up our own critical faculties and listening to our own gut feelings? we all tend to do this, whether left or right. by the way, i was speaking of my own disillusionment. is anybody here experienced a minor or major degree of disillusionment with the obama administration?
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about half of the audience here has been disillusioned. let me ask you this question. would you rather be disillusioned or illusioned? consider is not such a bad thing. when you walk around with illusions, you do not see how things are. actually, one can be grateful for one's disillusionment, so i am for mine. [laughter] the more disillusioned you get, the more clearly see the world. if you identify and disillusionment and despair, that is a particular problem. that is because you are too invested in net external entity. you fell into despair. so we morally invest ourselves into something external -- the
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more we invest ourselves into something external, the more we identify with what is not us, the more we set ourselves up to be victimized, if not physically, at least emotionally and spiritually. i was recently reading some work of a of hitler. you do not read many examples of the nile. the propaganda minister, one of the top that say leaders which hitler temporarily appointed when he committed suicide -- he lived another day before he killed themself -- in march, when the war had already been completely lost, the german armies had been beaten back by the russian army is on every front, the entire german army had been annihilated, the cities
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of germany were being pulverized by allied air force bombing raids, the allied invasion of normandy was only a few months away when the german enterprise in north africa had been completely defeated, and such a time he writes in his diary, i only wish that the prognostications are sometimes true. after so many defeats, one begins to notice a bit of skepticism rising in oneself. [laughter] talk about the nile. -- denial. and then, more startling way, in april 1945, a few days before the soviet army captured all of berlin, where hitler was besieged in his bunker, bombarding the chancellor where he was hiding in the bunker, he was with one of his[laughter]
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followers, and he said to him, in all sincerity, and apparently without any irony whatsoever, the whole country is in shambles by then and allies on all fronts were on german soil, and he says to hitler, we did not completely achieve what we started out in 1933, have we? it takes an action order and mary feet of the not to say such a thing. this fact of the nile cannot be explained by intellectual grounds. there was an industry study about people who deny climate change, and it is not about intelligence or about education. it turns out those that deny climate change, the one that are most indicated are the ones that will be in denial. the less educated are less in
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the nile. in other words, the nile is a fact. denial is a stance they have and the more intellectuals much they have, the more they employ their intellectual smarts to support their e motion on the nile. in other words, what i'm saying, we're not talking about it irrationality here. talking about an emotional position. the intellectual argumentations come only secondary to the emotional stance. this is a phenomenon that is very much of the political right, and that is what we see in this country, to a large degree, but it is not completely absent on the progressive side either. and we need to look at how that functions on both sides. there have been studies of the brain, have compared progressive brains versus right wing brains. these days, you can do these scans where you can gather a lot
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of information up to a certain point. some of them are interesting. one study showed the amygdala, and all men-shaped nucleus had been in the temporal part of the brain, where our fear mechanism is located. this is where we experience fear and alarm. in more active the amygdala is, the more paranoid, afraid he will be, the more fearful you will be it turns out, in people who hold right wing positions, the amygdala is larger. as compared to those that hold more progressive positions, at least in the 100 people that were studied. this was repeated once or twice and they came to the same conclusion. another part of the brain, the
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prefrontal cortex, the interior part of the brain, where alternatives and different opinions are evaluated, that seemed to be larger in progressive people. so we can all feel really good about ourselves. we have superior brains. except, maybe we do not entirely. of course, the reality is, the human brain is shaped by experience, and particularly, experience in utero, and also by what happens early in life, and which circuits develop, how they develop, which grow to be larger, has a lot to do with what happens to you as a child or what happened to your mother in the womb. from that perspective, it is
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interesting to speculate that people who are prone to be drawn to right wing ideology is, authoritarian ideologies more generally, had more fearful experiences as children, and that is why the amygdala is larger. it is interesting to look at some of these people throughout history who have been real mass killers, people like alexander the great, king this con, napoleon, hitler, stalin, and what you find out great about ts interesting. i do not know if it is coincidence but i do not think so. they were all people of relatively small stature, physically, very small, actually, relatively speaking, and number two, they all came
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from not the majority of the culture of their country, from the minority. during this con came from a small tribe. alexander the great was a macedonian, not greek. napoleon was not a frenchman, but was from corsica. hitler was austrian, not german. stalin was non- is interesting. i do notrussian but georgian. it is interesting to wonder whether their addiction to power, of which i will say more on later, did not have some of its shaping influences based on their sense of inferiority and was a compensation. in other words, some of what goes into political and historical work is actually shaped by personal factors. not that you can explain history by appealing to psychology or brain development, but people's particular relationship to it
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can be partially understood by such factors. therefore, people who are badly treated early in life, they may identify with the authority that abused them. therefore, they will be a authoritarians and will believe in authoritarian solutions. they will be filled with hate, but that cannot be expressed towards the authority figure because that was too dangerous. you could not pay the authority figure who abused you, so you have to transfer that to something else. and you have to have power, because that is the only way to protect yourself from having that happen to you again. there you have the history, in a nutshell, of adolf hitler. he began life with an alcoholic
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father who beat him mercilessly, a mother who could not protect him, and who therefore became who he was, paranoid, controlling, and complete and balanced -- completely unbalanced. although you cannot completely explain not to germinate and world war through history, you cannot also understand and looking at that. which raises an interesting question about who seeks power and why? when you look at the personal histories of the number of u.s. presidents, it does not inspire confidence. ronald reagan, whose father was an appalling, and he dealt with that by this massive separation from reality, such that he could not touch of reality from fiction, even before his alzheimer's. this is well known about him.
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you look at somebody like clinton, also an abused child, his need for validation, to be liked, validated by women all the time. the kennedys. you look at george bush jr., who used to have an awful problem -- alcohol problem. these people had difficult histories. i remember being in toronto, ontario. it seemed like every time i published a book, the american bomb somebody. the first time i published a book was on add. just when it came out, they were bombing yugoslavia. the next book, they were bombing iraq. i remember watching george bush jr. on television talking about the impending invasion and attack on iraq. i turned the sound down -- and i do not know if you have ever had
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the experience of watching george bush, not for what he was saying, but from the perspective of body language, and from that perspective you saw a scared kid. his brow was for road with uncertainty and fear. >> you have been listening to dr. gabor mate, best-selling author. not as well-known in this country, which is why we bring this to you today. he is the author of a number of books. we are offering you the full speech as well as the books for a contribution, if you call
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in my now, let us know that you're standing up for independent media. in his most recent book, a compassionate look at drug addiction by best-selling author gabor mate, explored the psychological causes of addiction. he then addresses the larger societal problems, speaking also to the risks of the so-called high status additions like wealth and power and sex. proposing a more holistic set of alternatives. a reading debate. we ask you to go to the phones right now and let us know you're in the house. i want to make these books available to you.
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"scattered" is about attention deficit disorder. yours for a contribution of $75. it is a wonderful book by gabor mate, who himself was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. he talks about the drugging of america's children, millions of them, and what that means for them growing up, for their emotional development. that book is yours for $75. we ask you to stand up for independent media. we cannot do this without you. and then there is "when the body says no." can a person literally die of loneliness? is there a connection between inhibited a motion and outside? is there a cancer personality?
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modern research is confirming the age old wisdom that emotions affect our physiology. repressed emotion bring on stress and can lead to disease. the book is provocative, beautifully written, providing fresh information regarding these and other issues regarding the effects of stress the -- stress on half. the doctor summarizes the latest scientific findings about the roles that stress play in an individual. emotions like anger,-the role of
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at george washington university. you know the kind of broadcast you look forward to. we are asking you to make the call that makes a difference. if you appreciated our discussion today on guns, as president obama makes his call for a ban on assault weapons, for high capacity ammunition magazines, and other executive order that he will be announcing, if you appreciated hearing colin goddard. we have had him on for years. we went down to blacksburg, va. colin goddard a few months ago before the first presidential debate. so many were calling on the debate to raise the issue of gun violence. the first presidential debate hr that was moderated by jim leyritz took place in colorado, not far from columbine and aurora.
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we went with colin goddard to virginia tech and he took us through the hall where he was shot four times, and most of his classmates and french professor were killed. we have been doing this work for a long time. then we brought you an interesting debate today on police officers in schools, a new ones, important debate about the role of police in society and how different communities see them and what is the answer to make our schools safer. everyone cares about that. then the connection between the nra with peter stone and the gun industry. we are not brought to buy the weapons industry. we can bring you this unfettered discretion. you believe these issues are a matter of life or death. make the call that makes a difference. your call counts.
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if you want our don't -- library of books, that book can be yours, a signed copy, $25, written with david goodman. third book is "standing up to the madness, extraordinary heroes in ordinary times." bill moyers talks about the importance of independent media. the last book is the silenced majority. the idea that those who are deeply concerned about the fate of the planet, climate change, war, about the growing inequality in this country, not a silent minority but a silenced majority, silence by the corporate media, that is yours
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for $75. all five books will be yours for $200. if you want a copy of any of these gifts and you want to give it to them for valentine's day, maybe dinner and a show -- you can write them a car that says they are coming to new york in the future face and when you work out with us, it is a wonderful way to support independent media. you come to the set of democracy now! right here in chelsea, in the middle of manhattan, you watch the broadcast, me the amazing team of people that makes this possible every day. then i host you and your guests for dinner. we can kick back and hear your stories, when you think needs to be covered, and personally about yourself. bring your daughter, son, mother, father, a
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granddaughter, grandchild, who ever. you have got to make the call that makes a difference. $2,000 tax deductible charitable contribution. if you can afford it, it goes to keeping linty be alive. youdon't need to know when can do it, but we will call you right away, ask, when winter to come to new york? brenda, my colleague here will get in touch with you and you will work it out. we cannot wait to greet you here. you can see how it happens every morning. you can meet the guests coming into the studio, you can meet the producers who are putting the show together, making it happen. you see how it all goes down. then i get to take you out to dinner, and it is wonderful. what is really wonderful is
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folks that do this and then come back for more. it is a tremendous honor, a way that we can support independent media together. what ever you do, please do it now. make that phone call that makes a difference. whether it is a $25 contribution, $10, a bumper sticker. it is a wonderful bumper sticker to put on your books, a refrigerator, bicycle. we urge you to call. your call makes all this possible. we need your support. we cannot do this without you. less than two minutes to go.
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whether you can do $10 or $2,000. you can get three books by the canadian physician dr. gabor mate. and a very interesting address he gave in berkeley, all yours for $300. the oliver stone pack for $200. the untold history of the united states, book and dvd. make the call now. you are a critical part. you are the link for link tv. please build these phone lines. we will be in washington for inauguration day on monday. and then our coverage of foreign
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and domestic policy, from the film makers in this country and around the world, from sundance starting on tuesday. tomorrow, tavis